Twice mainly prevents hospitalization with the Delta variant: UK body


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Two doses of COVID-19 vaccines are “highly effective” in preventing hospital admission with the Delta variant, Public Health England said Monday.

Scientists said twice the Pfizer / BioNTech stopped the need for inpatient treatment in 96 percent of cases.

With a double dose of the Oxford / AstraZeneca shot, the rate was 92 percent, PHE added.

The findings were published when Britain faced an increase in coronavirus cases, most of which were from the Delta strain, which first emerged in India.

The increase again raises concerns about the potential stress of hospitals, prompting calls to postpone a planned lifting of all social distancing limits on June 21st.

Restrictions have been in place since January, when the Alpha strain of the coronavirus, which was first identified in Kent, in the south-east of England, spread rapidly.

The government, which launched a mass vaccination program with the Pfizer / BioNTech jab in December last year, is pushing for more people to get two jabs.

PHE said the vaccine’s effectiveness for the Delta variant is comparable to that of the Alpha strain.

Vaccination chief Mary Ramsay said, “These hugely important results confirm that vaccines offer significant protection against the hospitalization of the Delta variant.”

Other investigations were underway to determine the level of protection against death from the Delta variant, PHE said, but added that it was expected to be “high.”

The public health agency examined 14,019 cases of the new variant in England between 12 April and 4 June.

A previous analysis indicated that a dose of vaccine is 17% less effective in preventing a person from developing Delta variant symptoms than Alpha.

But recent research showed that there was only a small difference after two doses.

Simon Kolstoe, a tenured professor of evidence-based health care at the University of Portsmouth, said the inoculation program worked clearly.

Almost 57 per cent of the UK has had two doses, according to government statistics.

But he added: “We can only rely on lifting all restrictions once we know that the link between large-scale infections and hospital admissions has been broken.

“Sure, the vaccine does its job by breaking that link, but a few more weeks to vaccinate more people certainly seems like a sensible option.”

Delta variant “40 per cent more transmissible”: UK Health Minister

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